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Ready, set, go with social media!

Creating an engaging social media presence is about more than tools.


Law Enforcement gets it. According to the 2012 IACP Social Media survey, 94% of law enforcement organizations have started using social media.

Created in association with the IACP Center for Social Media, this guide, and the accompanying “pulse check,” steps back from focusing on social media tools and tactics. It provides law enforcement organizations, irrespective of size or resources, a path for how and where to begin or enhance social media activities.

In this video filmed at the 2013 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, Police Leaders from around the globe discuss the role of social media to engage citizens, aid investigations and gather intelligence within their communities.


We have all heard how Facebook postings can provide investigative leads, Twitter can help share real-time information, and blogs can share important messages with the community but are tools the right place to start? 

Findings from the 2012 IACP Social Media survey found that the majority of law enforcement organizations using social media follow this approach: they open an account(s), spend 1-5 hours a week experimenting and hope to see results.

This “tool first” mindset consequently leads to frustrating experiences, delayed benefits, and strained resources. There is a better way to approach social media. Spoiler Alert! Choosing the right social media tool should be the last decision your organization makes.


A social media program should begin with asking a series of foundational questions:

Ready: What goals are we trying to achieve and how can social media help?

Set: Whose internal support do we need? What resources? How will we operate?

Go: How do we connect with our target audience?

A social media strategy should be evaluated and refreshed regularly. If you take the time to develop a strategy with goals and objectives, it is easier to understand whether or not initiatives are meeting their intended outcomes.

Want to learn more? Take this social media “pulse” survey to identify specific actions you can take today to enhance your social media program.